According to the New York Times, prolific documentarian and journalist Saul Landau has died at age 77 due to bladder cancer. The Emmy winner made political films such as Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang, which is about a government cover-up of radiation dangers of atomic bomb testing in Nevada in the 1950s, and his most recent work, Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up?, about espionage activity between the U.S. and Cuba during the Cold War. Cuba was a constant interest for Landau, who is also known for the 1971 doc Fidel, which offers a sympathetic side to the communist dictator.
The Times’ lengthy obituary has a great quote from an interview with the director where he claims there’s no distinction between fiction and nonfiction films: “One has to simulate reality. The other one says, ‘Here’s reality,’ whether it is or isn’t.”
Watch a clip from Fidel in which Castro badly plays baseball with some villagers:
And here is a clip from Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang in which Jacobs talks about his cancer:
Here is is other 1971 doc, Brazil: A Report on Torture, in full:
Photo of Landau courtesy of the Institute for Policy Studies via Wikipedia Commons.